The Tradeoffs Between Using a Public Cloud Provider vs. Building Your Own Private Cloud

Are you considering moving your organization's workload to the cloud? If so, you should know that there are two basic cloud deployment models: public cloud and private cloud. Public cloud providers host virtual machines and services for multiple clients on shared infrastructure, while private cloud infrastructure is owned and operated specifically for a single organization.

While both public and private cloud deployment models offer different advantages and disadvantages, they both share one fundamental characteristic – tradeoffs. Here, we will explore the tradeoffs between using a public cloud provider vs. building your own private cloud, so you can make an informed decision that aligns with your unique goals and objectives.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a type of computing infrastructure that provides on-demand delivery of IT resources such as servers, storage, and applications through the internet. Public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) use a shared infrastructure to host multiple clients.


Cost Savings

One of the benefits of going with public cloud providers is the potential for cost savings. Public cloud providers typically operate at a massive scale and can offer infrastructure at a lower cost than what most organizations could build and maintain themselves.

Since public cloud providers own the infrastructure and resources, clients can pay on an as-needed basis, rather than buy and maintain their hardware. This means reduced capital expenditures (CAPEX) and fewer operational expenditures (OPEX) for organizations.


It's one of the main advantages of public cloud providers that you can easily scale up or down to meet business demands.

When using public clouds, you can instantly access almost unlimited compute resources on-demand, allowing you to adjust infrastructure and resources to match changes in demand quickly. This elasticity and flexibility make it an ideal choice for businesses with unpredictable workloads or those that frequently experience spikes in demand.


Public cloud providers offer access to their resources through the internet, enabling your organization's personnel to work anywhere and anytime with an internet connection. This makes public cloud infrastructures perfect for remote working environments and expands your business's reach on a global scale.

Flexibility on implementation

Public clouds offer various implementation choices that allow organizations to tailor their crucial features such as cost, availability, and compatibility with client workloads.

Public clouds operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no upfront costs or investments. In this way, it offers an affordable alternative to deploying your own hardware.



One of the major disadvantages of public clouds is that they're hosted using shared infrastructures. That also means that the data you're hosting is accessible by other companies that use the same infrastructure.

Although public cloud providers are responsible for securing and maintaining their infrastructure, you're responsible for securing your resources and ensuring that they conform to regulatory requirements.


If the public cloud provider isn't located in close proximity, network latency issues can occur. While most providers offer mechanisms to decrease latency, it's still a concern.

Bandwidth Constraints

Bandwidth availability and limitations can seriously affect your data transfer speed and, in severe cases, your access to the resources you need. Public clouds are vulnerable to upstream disruptions outside of your control.

Vendor Lock-in

While there may be advantages to going with a specific public cloud vendor, it may become too expensive to transfer workloads from one vendor to another, reducing the industry's competitiveness.

Private Cloud

Private clouds are exclusive computing infrastructures owned and managed by an organization, usually behind a firewall. A private cloud is designed to meet the organization's specific computing needs, such as high-performance computing, high availability, and compliance with regulatory requirements.



Private clouds provide a fully secured computing environment, with resources that are physically and logically isolated from other organizations. Proprietary business processes and applications can be maintained solely on-premises, where access can be tightly controlled.


For some organizations, regulatory compliance can be a significant concern. Private clouds let businesses customize their security policies, ensuring that they meet specific compliance requirements.


The performance of a private cloud can often match or exceed that of public clouds, allowing organizations to run resource-intensive workloads on their own infrastructure for improved performance and reduced latency issues.

Easy Adaptability

Since private clouds are built to meet the individual needs of organizations, implementation and governance processes can be tailored to meet specific operational policies and requirements.


Higher Initial Cost

Organizations investing in private clouds may encounter higher initial costs as they must buy, install, and operate their own infrastructure. There may also be ongoing operational expenses for maintaining hardware, licensing software-as-a-service (SaaS), or other operational costs.

Flexibility Constraints

Private clouds can provide an added level of security, but not necessarily a higher level of flexibility. Private cloud infrastructure may be incompatible with other proprietary hardware solutions, which can hinder your organization's ability to scale.

Limited Resources

Organizations that maintain private clouds must also ensure that they have enough capacity to support workloads as demand increases, often meaning a greater initial investment in infrastructure than a public cloud deployment.

Limited Scalability

Private clouds are typically designed to meet the needs of a single organization, so scalability can be a concern. As demand for resources increases, infrastructure must be scaled up, which can result in higher costs.


When it comes to the tradeoffs between public cloud providers and private clouds, it's essential to consider your organization's unique needs and goals.

Public clouds offer scalability, accessibility, and cost savings, ideal for organizations that have unpredictable workloads and want the minimal amount of initial investment.

Private clouds, on the other hand, offer better security, compliance, and performance ideal for organizations that have heightened security, compliance, or performance requirements. They also provide complete control over your computing infrastructure for highly specialized needs.

The bottom line is that it's not about which model is better; it's about what best meets the needs of your business. While it's tempting to choose the highly marketed public cloud route, it's always important to consider hybrid cloud and private cloud deployment instances that best fit specific organizational requirements.

Any decision on which cloud deployment model to go with should be made after careful analysis of the areas covered in this article.

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